An air fryer is such a fun appliance. I love to use mine for French fries and chicken wings, but it’s great for making sweets too!
This time, I made delicious donut holes. And I love to buy apple cider whenever I can, so making apple cider donut holes in the air fryer was a natural choice for me!
The sweetness of apple cider comes through in every tender bite of these donut holes. Of course, they are glazed with an apple cider glaze. Because you need to have that sweet flavor intensified, right?
Why I Love this Recipe
Apple cider is one of my favorite fall flavors. I like to drink it cold, or warm, or in an apple cider cocktail.
But in addition to drinking it, apple cider can be used to bring fall flavors to baked goods. These donut holes are a great example.
The dough uses apple cider, applesauce, pie spice, and apple cider vinegar to deliver on taste. It’s a terrific combination!
**Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for detailed quantities and directions**
Of course, you need an air fryer to make these donut holes. And you probably need an oven-style air fryer, because you need the air fryer basket to be large enough to hold the silicone mold.
I have the (affiliate link) Ninja Foodi air fryer oven. And I love it. It has a nice big basket, with lots of space for making big batches of French fries, taquitos, or chicken wings without crowding. And I love that it flips up and out of the way when I’m not using it.
The other important piece of equipment is a (affiliate link) silicone mold. The mold I use came as one in a set. It measures 11 ½” by 7” and has 15 spaces to use to make candies, pecan clusters, or donut holes. I was delighted to realize that it fits perfectly in the basket of my air fryer.
How to make Apple Cider Donut Holes in the Air Fryer
The dough comes together very quickly. First, melt the butter and set it aside to cool a little.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, pie spice, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: applesauce, apple cider vinegar, apple cider, egg, and the melted and cooled butter. Whisk together until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry and combine with a spatula. Stir until just combined.
Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into the silicone mold. Place the mold flat in the air fryer basket.
Air fry for 8 minutes at 350F. You'll see that the dough will puff up nicely while baking.
Now, invert the mold and turn the balls out onto the air fryer basket. Since it’s hot I take a couple of tongs to lift and invert, then push on the back of each semi-circle lightly with the tongs. The balls will pop right out.
Now, finish air frying with the balls scattered in the flat basket. The first batch, test one after 2 minutes for doneness. They will need anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes, but each air fryer is a little different so sacrifice one donut hole by cutting into it so you know the best timing for yours.
When done, the donut holes are very lightly golden in color. I love the slightly crusty edges, it makes a great contrast with the tender interior.
Repeat with the rest of the dough. With my mold, I end up filling it 3 times for a total 45 donut holes. Allow the donut holes to cool fully (at least 30 minutes) before glazing.
The glaze adds even more apple cider taste! Simply mix powdered sugar with a little more pie spice, then whisk it all with apple cider until smooth.
Take each donut hole and dip it into the glaze. I like to use 2 forks, to help roll the ball around, covering all sides. Then, lift the ball out of the glaze and let the excess drip off a little.
Place the glazed donut hole back on the wire rack to dry. Glaze will drip off these, so having a tray underneath will facilitate clean up.
Allow the donut holes to dry completely before serving.
Fresh Apple Cider is a seasonal thing and not always available, so instead you can use apple juice or sparkling apple cider.
My mold holds 1 tablespoon in each cavity, which seems perfect to me. If you have a slightly larger mold, this will still work. Testing for doneness after that second 2-minute cook cycle will be your best guide for total cooking times.
More Fun Recipes to Try
Air Fryer Apple Cider Donut Holes
- 2 ¼ cups flour all-purpose
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup applesauce cinnamon or plain
- ½ cup apple cider
- ¼ cup butter unsalted
- 1 egg large
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pie spice
- ¼ cup apple cider
- In a small to medium bowl, melt the butter and set it aside to cool.¼ cup butter
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, pie spice, and salt.2 ¼ cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons pie spice, ½ teaspoon salt
- When the melted butter has cooled some, add the applesauce, apple cider, vinegar, and egg to the bowl. Whisk until the wet ingredients are well combined.½ cup applesauce, ½ cup apple cider, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.
- Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to fill the silicone mold with one tablespoon of batter in each spot. Once filled, place the silicone mold in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry the donut holes for 8 minutes at 350F. When the time is up, invert the silicone mold and turn out the donut holes onto the air fryer basket.
- Air fry an additional 2-4 minutes, until donut holes are cooked through and the edges are just slightly golden brown.
- Remove donut holes from basket to a wire rack. Repeat making donut holes with the remaining batter.
- Allow donut holes to cool completely before adding glaze (about 30 minutes).
Apple Cider Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and pie spice. Add the apple cider and whisk until the glaze is smooth.2 cups powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon pie spice, ¼ cup apple cider
- Dip each cooled donut hole into the glaze, rolling to cover all sides. Set on a wire rack to allow the glaze to dry before eating.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.